I was recently asked if there is a Gestalt method for dealing with stress at work. Well, yes and no. The best way to understand the environmental factors- and their impact- is to work with myself to really grasp the stress and your reactions using Gestalt therapy. This said, sometimes we need a little R&R “Gestalt” moment at work when things get a bit out of sorts.
I recommend using a lime. Yes, a lime. I tell people to bring a lime at work and either keep it in their pocket or on their desks (or related area) as a reminder to consider their environment as things heat up. If someone questions you about the lime, it is easy to say it is there for drinking water or lunch, etc. The color of the lime is calming too.
As stress builds within your environment, glance at the lime. You can say to the lime (out loud or not), “let’s address this.” The next thing to do is pause and really consider not only what you are feeling but why you’re feeling it. The lime isn’t a replacement for therapy but it is a visual reminder that there is an issue and it gives you a quick respite to consider what is really going on and the best way to move forward during moments of stress with all things considered.
The lime exercise is a lot like the classic chair exercise in Gestalt therapy.
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